BMZ Review: Robots 3D

March 30, 2015 – 3:32 pm

Robots 3D
By Ann Coates

National Geographic’s Robots 3D gives us a peek into the current state of humanoid robotic engineering, and it’s about as captivating as it sounds. An interest in robotics and/or engineering is probably necessary in order to care about this film in any meaningful way. An amusing subject at best, utterly dull at worst, the film lacks any sort of storyline, and merely gives us fact after fact about robots.

Hosted by a humanoid “robothespian” and voiced by Simon Pegg, the usually likable comedian can’t bring this film out of technological drudgery. We are introduced to a variety of complex robots currently being created and tested. All are in various stages of development, and all walk like they need to take a shit bad.

Much of the problem with building a humanoid robot is in the ability to make the robot act human. The film spends most of its time studying locomotion, not just how to walk, but how to adapt to the environment. The robot, Asimo, built by Honda, seems to be the most sophisticated robot to date, even having the ability to run (but just barely).

The possibilities of robots and what they can do seem endless, but the film doesn’t really capture that. It is limited by the infancy of robotic development. Perhaps one day, there will be documentary on robots that will captivate and inspire. It’s just not this one.